• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/23/2015

    Wow, what another great week.  It is actually really nice to have the cooler weather.  You can almost see the plants and foliage breathing a sigh of relief and our furry friends and family breathing easier with the cooling temperatures.  I trust you are each finding time to experience a unique adventure this season. 

    As another week has passed, we are checking in on the athletic field complex progress.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jajLWO-Uh1c The work this week focused primarily on the installation of the e-layer, and features the observations of Ed Santos.  This e-layer is such a great safety consideration as it is 19mm thick and has the impact of improving the G-MAX score of the field to assist in preventing concussions and other serious sports related injuries.  This maintains our commitment to safety and the success of our student athletes and musicians, all of them – no exceptions. 

    We have had several Summer Music Camps.  We started this past Monday with Band/string and Music theatre/jazz camps.  Currently we have 36 students participating in the band/string camp and 21 participating in the music theatre/vocal jazz camp. The kids had a blast reading through the Batman Theme Song from the T.V. show yesterday.  Today, they got more serious and read through Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  They will be performing next Friday at noon down at the Port Orchard Water Front Gazebo. This will be a fitting closing celebration to the two week camp. 

    I want to update you on the facilities work that has been done this summer.  To date, the staff have completed seventy four classrooms of new carpet and several new libraries and music rooms.  Our grounds department is managing and grooming two hundred and eighty five acres ;>) !!!  We are so grateful for all this dedicated work. 

    Furthermore, two of our three roof projects have been completed this summer.  These were major roof projects and the weather this summer has been noticeably fantastic for roofing.  I also want to remind you that in doing the three projects this summer, we were able to realize a savings of $70,000.00 as an economy of scale was employed.  The two roofs completed are Hidden Creek and Mullenix Ridge.  This is great news to those working in the schools this summer.  The roof restoration project at Burley Glenwood is almost complete.  Well done. 

    It is also a good reminder that we have a number of staff working as part of the Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership Project http://ospponline.wikispaces.com/  This is a transformative partnership that is a powerful professional development opportunity for our staff that will result in robust STEM experiences for our students. 

    Warmest regards, 

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/16/2015

    What a fantastic week we are having.  I trust this note finds each of you enjoying a different pace this summer.  This is such a time for reflection and renewal.  After watching several of the national weather reports this week, it is hard to imagine planning a vacation anywhere other than right here in Port Orchard ;>)  This has been a unique weather summer to be sure. 

    One great feature of the hot and dry weather is we have been able to make significant progress on the three major roof projects in the district.  As I previously mentioned, we were able to save a considerable amount of money ($75,000.00) by doing all three projects this summer rather than parsing them out over two summers.  The contractor was able to discount the work due to the economy of scale savings.  While this is great for our district budget, as we can provide more student program enhancements, it has been a significant work load lift for our Facilities Department staff.  Please take a moment to thank them when you see one of them for all their hard work and the result of being able to save monies for our student educational needs.  We also want to remember to thank our voters who supported the recent levy enabling us to complete these projects.

    And so, another major summer project, the new field turf project is right on schedule.  The summer weather has been great and the progress is exciting to watch as the different layers are being placed in the former stadium footprint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76DGScqq8fY .  South Kitsap Facilities Director,  Mr. Tom O’Brien, explains some of the unique features of this first of its kind surface for the northwest.  We are really on the innovative edge with the new organic infill alternative !!

    As you are enjoying this break, I would like to have you pause for a moment and note the announcement of the final two members of our district administrative leadership team.  I know you will join me in welcoming them to our South Kitsap family.

    I am thrilled to announce that Ms. Virginia “Ginnie” Brossard, is the new Principal at Mullenix Ridge Elementary School.  Ms. Virginia “Ginnie” Brossard has most recently been teaching 4th and 5th grade at Marvista Elementary in Normandy Park, Washington.  While there, she also served as a principal designee for nine years.  Her previous teaching experience was a classroom teacher for K-6 grade multi-age split classes and gifted education classes for Valley View Alternative Elementary in SeaTac, Washington.  Ginnie earned her Washington State Principal Residency Certificate from Western Washington University.  She earned her Masters in Education from Lesley University in 2003.  Additionally, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Central Washington University.  In 2012 and 2009 Ginnie received the Washington Achievement Award (5th grade science).  She also was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award in 2010.  She is a member of the Association of Washington State Principals and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development as well as a Teacher Advisory Board Member for Seattle Children’s Theatre.

    Next, I am thrilled to announce that Mr. Joey Kolattukudy, is the new Assistant Principal at Sidney Glen Elementary School.  Mr. Joey Kolattukudy has most recently served as a 7th and 8th grade English Teacher at Polson Middle School in Montana.   Prior to his teaching at the middle-school level, he taught 4th and 5th grade at Pablo Elementary School, also in Montana.  Joey earned his Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana in 2010.  He also received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2004 from the University of Montana.  Joey has been an Assistant Basketball Coach for the freshman through varsity teams at Polson High School.  Additionally, he has been a Track, Basketball and Football Coach for Ronan Middle School in Montana.  Joey was recognized as the 2006-2007 IEC Teacher of the Year School, Ronan School District #0 and received the 2007-2008 KECI Gold Star Award.  We are so blessed to have these two gifted educational leaders join our team. 

    Last night, at the Board meeting, I presented my recommendation for the grade reconfiguration phase-in plan.  I am also joining Kitsap Sun Reporter Chis Henry on July 16 at 7:00 p.m. for a live online discussion about the transition to a K-5 elementary, 6-8 middle school, 9-12 high school grade configuration. The online chat will explain the phased-in transition and participants will have the opportunity to comment, ask questions, and take online polls.  We will continue to provide information updates as the weeks and months roll forward.  In next week’s Thursday Memo, I will elaborate further based on feedback received during the online discussion.  Please also feel free to share ideas, questions and insights that might assist us as we move forward with this epic transformation. 

    Please continue to enjoy this great summer break we are having.

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/9/2015

    I trust each of you have had a wonderful Fourth of July holiday and are continuing to enjoy this record summer weather. 

    With regard to the high school athletic complex work, this week they are working to finish the installation of the drainage system so there have been lots of pipes and significant trench filling going on.  The work is progressing on schedule and continues to be such an exciting project.  https://youtu.be/7niIJqJwlQU  Many continued thanks to Mike Downum and the South Kitsap School District CTE video production staff for their tenacious coverage of this epic construction project. 

    Next week there will be an Online Chat about Grade Reconfiguration.  I will join Kitsap Sun reporter Chis Henry on July 16 at 7:00 p.m. for a live online discussion about the transition to a K-5 elementary, 6-8 middle school, 9-12 high school model district. I will explain the plan to phase in the transition and community participants will have the opportunity to comment, ask questions, and take online polls. To participate in the discussion, participants should log onto the Kitsap Sun website at www.kitsapsun.com shortly before 7 p.m. on July 16.   Anytime a district undertakes a project of this magnitude, the importance of frequent and timely communication cannot be overstated.  The online chat link will be posted on the Kitsap Sun’s homepage. For more information about the online chat, visit Chris Henry’s blog.

    It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Mr. Daniel Novick as the new John Sedgwick Junior High Principal.  Mr. Novick has most recently served as the Assistant Principal at Klahowya Secondary School in Silverdale.  He has been an Assistant Principal at Ridgetop Junior High School and an Athletic Director, teacher and coach for Kingston High School.  Prior to his work in the Kitsap Peninsula area, he also taught and coached in Texas as well as other parts of our State.  Dan earned his Masters in Educational Leadership from American College of Education in 2011 as Summa cum laude.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in Education for Secondary Education from Eastern Washington University in 1999 as Magna cum laude with Honors.  Dan is part of the Association of Washington School Principals and Washington Secondary School Athletic Administrators Association.  Additionally, he was recognized as the 2010 Kitsap Sun Coach of the Year, and received the 2004 MIT Influential Teacher Recognition award and the 2004 Outstanding Teacher Award.  We are so pleased and excited to have Dan join our South Kitsap family. 

    Recently, a number of our teachers and principals attended a STEM event in Gig Harbor as part of our ESD STEM Partnership work.   Following this event, our STEM teachers, (Theresa Johnson, Jeff Winn, Beverly Painter, Tina Jordan, Candace Barich, and Tami Bradford) who are part of the Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership  attended a robust professional development experience with the University of Washington.  As a purpose, “The first of its kind, the program will take this hands-on approach into schools to inspire the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math.”  Check out the link below... The UW featured an article about Deb and Danny's work on OSPP on the College of the Environment website today.  There are some GREAT pictures of teachers working with sensors---you might be able to find some of our teachers in a picture.  http://coenv.washington.edu/news/2015/07/uw-scientists-engage-the-next-generation-of-oceanographers-through-stem-partnership/ .

    We recently had one of our very own South Kitsap students serve as a delegate at the World Children’s FestivalDuring the week of June 30, Ellie Wrigley, eighth grade student at John Sedgwick Junior High, travelled to Washington, D.C. to attend the World Children’s Festival (WCF). Ellie was selected as a delegate to represent Washington State for the artwork that she created while attending Olalla Elementary. Launched in 1999 as the “Olympics” of children’s imagination, the WCF has grown into the world’s premier children’s celebration and a permanent quadrennial event in our nation’s capital. The WCF advances a grassroots movement for every child’s creative and empathic development launched by the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) some 20 years ago as the foundation for widespread prosperity and global peace.

    The official delegates are selected through the Arts Olympiad, the world’s largest children’s art program. The U.S. Olympic Committee has granted the ICAF an exclusive license to use the “Arts Olympiad” mark. The Arts Olympiad winners representing their U.S. states and over 70 other countries convene at the WCF, along with amazing young musicians and performers, representing different genres and world cultures. While in the nation’s capital, Ellie’s family toured all the National Mall monuments and walked more than 26 miles.  For more information on the World Children’s Festival visit http://www.worldchildrensfestival.org .  This is so exciting to have our district and community represented by Ellie. 

    I trust you and yours will continue to enjoy a restful and renewing summer season.

    Warmest regards,

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/3/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    Wow, what a fantastic week!!  This weather is amazing.  I will say that several members of our district leadership team recently attended the WASA/AWSP Summer Conference in Spokane this past week-end, and the 106 degree weather was a bit much.  It was nice to get back to the cooler 85 degree weather ;>)  I suppose it is a great reminder on the importance of comparative perspective

    With regard to the high school athletic complex work, this week they are finishing the installation of the drainage system so there has been lots of pipes and trench filling.  The work is progressing on schedule and continues to be such an exciting project.  https://youtu.be/3L8kAaicg0I  Many thanks to Mike Downum and the South Kitsap School District CTE video production staff for their tenacious coverage of this epic construction project. 

    I want to share some great staff news.  Ms. Maurine Simons, one of our South Kitsap mechanics, took 3rd place in the WAPT Technician Competition. Maurine is the first female mechanic to compete at the state level (2014) and the first female mechanic to place. In the words of her supervisor, Mr. Jay Rosapepe, “ Awesome.”  Well done.

    As June ends and July begins, we are also in the middle of administrative staff transitions.  As part of one of these transitions, I want to thank Ms. Rita Reandeau for her many years of dedicated service to the South Kitsap School District.  She is leaving us to begin a new opportunity with the Peninsula School District for the coming year.  Rita started at the South Kitsap School District as the Assistant Director of Special Education in August of 1991 and was promoted to the Director of Special Education position in 1997.   She served on the SKEA Bargaining Team, the District Safety Committee, and was an active member of the Director’s PLC group.  During her time at South Kitsap, she was appointed by the Governor to the Board of Trustees for the Washington State Center for Deafness and Hearing Loss, and was a member of the Shared Partnership for Children, Kitsap Mental Health.  She has tirelessly served the children of this community.  Our district is a better place for her service. 

    As her successor, Ms. Shelby MacMeekin will be our Interim Director of Special Education for the coming year.  Shelby began her career with South Kitsap School District in September 2002 as a Special Education Teacher.  She was in the position for ten years, until she transitioned to a Special Education Instructional Specialist for three years for our Office of Special Education.  Prior to her work in South Kitsap, she taught in the Seattle and Vancouver areas.  Shelby earned her Master’s in Education for Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University in 2005.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Northern Michigan University and her teaching certificate from Western Washington University where she is currently completing her coursework for director credentialing.   We are excited to keep Shelby in the SK family.

    Ms. Sara Hatfield, our District Director for Career and Technical Education (CTE) just announced that our new Assistant CTE Director is Mr. Greg Kilpatrick. Greg has been a CTE professional since 2002, starting his career at Bellevue High School.  Most recently, Greg worked half-time as a CTE teacher and the other half as Technology Integration Specialist at Vashon Island High School, where he and his family have lived for the past 15 years.  He received his CTE Director certification in 2010 while working part-time in the CTE Department for the Bellevue School District, and teaching at Bellevue High School during that time.  Prior to teaching, Greg worked in End User Support at Verizon Wireless for 12 years.  He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Central Washington University. We welcome Greg to the South Kitsap family.

    We have made a decision on the next principal for South Colby Elementary School.  Mr. Charles “Joe” Riley will be the new South Colby principal.  Mr. Riley has most recently served in the role of Principal at Pioneer Intermediate/Middle School in Shelton (grades 4-8).  Joe taught Social Studies at John Sedgwick Junior High School from September 2007 – 2011; and in the Fall of 2011, he briefly taught Social Studies at South Kitsap High School and then became the Dean of Students for grades 11-12 until June 2013.  Joe earned his Educational Administrator Program, Principal’s Certificate from the University of Washington in 2013.  Joe received his Master’s in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in May of 2011, and his Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Central Washington University in June 2007.  He is a graduate of South Kitsap High School, Class of 2003.  We welcome Joe back to the South Kitsap family.

    I know you will join me in welcoming these new administrators into the district family.  We are blessed to have their expertise and celebrate their decision to choose us.  

    On another topic, I have been asked to serve on the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) Paraeducator work group.  The 2014 archived work group meetings can be found at:  http://www.pesb.wa.gov/home/para-work-group/upcoming-meetings/2014-work-group-meetings .  I will be working with the group as we bring proposals forward to the legislature for approval.  If you have any questions, ideas or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know. 

    I am providing an interesting and provocative article for your summer reading.  It is very short and might prompt a bit of wonder and relates to the benefits of teaching languages earlier.  Study shows benefits of teaching languages to younger students  Interestingly, “Elementary-school students at a dual-language school in California performed on par with Advanced Placement high-school students on Mandarin language assessments, according to a recent Stanford University study. The findings now are driving efforts to introduce foreign-language instruction in younger grades.”  We will be beginning to teach foreign language at our two IB elementary schools this coming year as well as expanding the Spanish Immersion Program at Burley Glenwood this fall.  It is promising to have research support our best practice. 

    As we contemplate the future of our district and education in general, it is interesting to peer in to the thoughts of those around the country on such topics.  What does the future hold for education?  With regard to the new technology frontier; “There are five new realities in education, suggests educator and author Will Richardson, who presented on the topic during a session at the International Society for Technology in Education's conference. He asserts that technology provides more choices in learning, learners drive their own learning through online resources and professional development is a personal responsibility.”  Very interesting…

    I wish each of you a safe and celebratory Fourth of July celebration this week-end. 

     

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/25/2015

    Well, summer is finally here.  The weather is incredible for our first week of summer.  I trust each of you will find time in the coming days and weeks for a hike, swim, or other favorite outdoor sport as we enjoy this beautiful Pacific Northwest region.

    What an incredible evening I had tonight as the State agriculture teachers celebrated our own South Kitsap staff and community partners at their annual statewide banquet.  Tonight, the Washington Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE), honored our Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director, Ms. Sara Hatfield, as the regional District Outstanding Administrator.  The WAAE current State President, our very own Mr. Mike Sheppard, nominated and presented the award.  Not to be outdone, Mike was honored by his peers as an Outstanding Mentor.  Farmer George was honored as a community partner as they have supported our South Kitsap Agriculture program for many years. We are so blessed to have these outstanding educators, community partners, and this amazing CTE program for our students in this great district.  Well done !!

    This past week, our SKSD Board of Directors met with the Board of Trustees from Olympic College as part of our board work study session.  It was a spirited and collaborative conversation that is headed toward a possible partnership in conjunction with a potential capital bond to build a second high school in the district.  There are many more conversations to be had and much more work to be done to be thoughtful about the details that might best support such an innovative endeavor for our community.  I will be sharing more about this important topic in the weeks to come.  If you have any ideas or questions about this project, please do not hesitate to contact me. This is an exciting time to be in the South Kitsap School District.  

    Our athletic field and track complex project is moving along quickly. This innovative field project, the first of its kind in the Northwest, continues to move forward.  The Hellas Corporation indicates significant work will be taking place this Friday as they will be laying drainage pipe and spreading fabric on the field.  It is exciting to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuCvs0nVB4U as this project comes to life.  We are so grateful for our generous community partners…Thank you.  

    The Food and Nutrition Services Department is upgrading their work area at the high school.  Ms. Ariane Shanley and her staff are to be commended for the renovations and work model they have created. High school students and staff will have more efficient and more effective food service as a result.  Aesthetically, the cafeteria area will also be more appealing.  

    The roofs at Mullenix Ridge and Hidden Creek are also in the midst of construction.  The construction buzz all over the district is so progressive and exciting.  We are so grateful for our generous community members who supported our most recent levy so that we could address these leaking roofs.  Our students and staff will be snug during the heavy rains this coming fall and winter…  remember rain ;>) …

    This was a recently shared community thought…” Many of Aristotle’s principles are valid for any ethics.  Being human does not mean simply obeying laws that come from outside, but attaining maturity. Being human means becoming as perfectly accomplished as possible.  If we do not become fully accomplished, something is lost to the whole of humanity.  For Aristotle, this accomplishment derives from the most perfect activity: that of seeking the truth in all things, shunning lies and illusions, acting in accordance with justice, transcending oneself to act for the good of others in society.” — Jean Vanier

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/18/2015
    Well, this has been another amazing week as we transition into our summer break.  I trust you are finding time to enjoy this great weather and begin the process of slowing down just a bit.  I know it always takes a few days to realize that we are really in a different work and life mode.  It never seems to happen on a schedule. 

    Even as classes are not in session, there are still many things happening in the district.  Our amazing Facilities Department is in full swing with moving and facility projects.  The roof projects at Hidden Creek and Mullenix Ridge are beginning this week with a great deal of energy and excitement as these new roofs are greatly anticipated. Further, our new turf athletic field and track had the groundbreaking ceremony Groundbreaking video this past Monday.  This was an exciting event with a great deal of local community participation.  Mr. Tom O’Brien, our intrepid Director of Facilities and Operations, is overseeing this mammoth project as well as the roof projects.  Our exceptional ground crew is also busily working to maintain our grounds across the district and support the many acres of property we treasure. 

    The Office of Special Education (OSE) has made the move to the district office this week and was warmly welcomed by the various departments at the district office.  I want to especially thank our Instructional Technology (IT) Department for their work to set up and support this move in a very effective and efficient manner.  Our Facilities staff also were busily installing desks, partitions and file cabinets to make this move a reality.  All of this hard work is much appreciated.  Thank you.

    As is their custom, the Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight this past week was Emily Fogel from Marcus Whitman Jr High .  It is so nice to have our teachers honored in such a public way for their outstanding and necessary work with our students.  Well done.

    Casey Ogan, the South Kitsap High School Assistant Principal, reported this week that the high school application for authorization has been reviewed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) reviewers.  Based on their feedback,  all practices and standards for the IB “appear to be in place”.   From what he can tell, this means we are all set for our verification visit at the high school.  This is an affirmation of a significant amount of dedicated work on the part of many staff at the high school and signals an important next step in the quest for IB designation for our high school.  So,  on to the next step…  The IB reviewers have been sent three different date for the verification visit;  two in the end of October and one the week before Thanksgiving.  I’ll keep you posted on the next phase.  We are so proud to recognize this hard work on behalf of our students. 

    A summer tradition we have here in the South Kitsap School District is the opportunity for our young students in the community to participate in a variety of camps and activities where our older students serve as mentors.   One such camp has been our baseball camp recently held at the SKHS field complex.  It has been a great camp thus far and the boys are enjoying the opportunity to play some baseball.  Marcus Logue, our SK Head Baseball coach notes;  “Our high school players are awesome role models and it is rewarding to see them teach the game and how important it is to be a good human being to our youth.”  These are such important lessons for our older student athletes to cement by modeling and teaching them as well as for our younger student athletes who will thrive by learning them.  Character does count.  Well done.

    The Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card committee met this afternoon to review the STAR Early Literacy assessments.  With Journeys in its first year of adoption next year, the  kindergarten teachers believe that it would not be appropriate to utilize Journeys to determine reading level until they’ve had a year to vet it.  The kindergarten assessment binder contains literacy assessments that are standards-based and not tied to any curriculum.  Since STARS is also not tied to a curriculum, the Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card committee wanted to have an opportunity to explore STARS to determine if it would be an option for replacing some components of the current standards-based kindergarten assessments.  This exploration of the STAR assessment by the committee is necessary should the District Assessment and ELA Committees recommendation to adopt STAR be approved. While the recommendation of the ELA committee was to utilize STAR for grades K-10, the assessment committee, recognizing the number of assessments that kindergarten already gives, gave the option to kindergarten to determine whether or not they wanted to be included in  the use of STAR for 2015-16. 

    One of the significant rites of passage at the end of any given school year is the flurry of position openings and lengthy interview sessions that support the selection of our new staff for the upcoming school year.  This year is no exception.  I know that within any living breathing organization that change is inevitable.  It is actually a sign of healthy growth.  The recent round of administrative hires at the district level honors the work and experience of some of our veteran school principals.  While it is an amazing asset for our district family to benefit from the talent and dedicated work of these dynamic educational leaders, it can also be a time for anxiety as we solicit applicants and find the best fit for the new principals and their building level teams.  The good news is that the new school administrative staff we will be selecting will be joining an incredible family of educators who understand the work and resolutely care for the children – all of them, no exceptions.  I continue to be so excited about our future …

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/12/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What a fantastic week!!  We had the last two high school graduation celebrations this week with Discovery and South Kitsap High School concluding commencement ceremonies, while Explorer graduated its seniors last week.  All three of these high school graduation ceremonies are so special and celebrate important milestones in the lives of these students and their families.  Each of you have been a part of the journey for our seven hundred graduates this year.  Thank you.

    It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news of the passing of one of our South Kitsap staff family.  Jay Villars, Principal at John Sedgwick, announced the passing of their Head Custodian, Mr. Jim Williams.  Mr. Williams had been ill and passed away at his home over the weekend.  Jay commented, “ Many knew him by the nickname “Mr. Clean” which he enjoyed and cherished. He was a very friendly man with a lot of spirit. He worked at John Sedgwick Junior High for thirty-four years. He enjoyed working with kids the most. He made a lot of friends over the years and he enjoyed connecting and catching up with students after they graduated. He truly believed in Rachel’s challenge and connected with students every day. He will be greatly missed.”  I know you will join me in keeping his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.  

    At today’s community luncheon, the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce honored the SKSD Star Staff of the Quarter.  The Classified Star Staff Award - Gloria Parks, our amazing SKSD Laundry Person for over forty years who was nominated by Mr. Tom O’Brien, and the Certificated Star Staff Award - Sabrina Westermann, an outstanding teacher at Manchester Elementary, who was nominated by Ms. Lisa Lightbody.  The attendees at the luncheon were impressed with the accomplishments of both honorees this quarter.  We are a better district for their work with our children.  Thank you. 

    Our ESD recently received a significant STEM grant opportunity.  Senator Patty Murray notes, “Washington ranks third in the country for concentration of STEM jobs, but has nearly the fastest growing skills gap of all 50 states.  In today’s economy, strong STEM skills are a critical element of a well-rounded education and educational institutions are poised to leverage NASA’s unique content to engage students in STEM.  I hope that you ensure that a high bar is set for STEM education transformation by encouraging NASA to fund the NESPP proposal.  In order to significantly scale equity and access efforts, and to move toward the National STEM Education goal to prepare 100,000 excellent new K-12 STEM teachers by 2020, and support the existing K-12 STEM workforce, Olympic Educational Service District 114 will pilot a STEM Cooperative Network that will serve over 3,000 teachers from 17 districts and over 50,000 students.  The Regional STEM Network will serve as a focal point for NGSS-focused STEM discourse between middle/high school teachers and researchers; provide a platform for STEM problems of practice discussions; facilitate equity and access by providing a mechanism for collaborative discussions across a large geographic region.”  We are excited to participate in this great opportunity for our district and region.  

    I have a great South Kitsap Alumni update.  Former Wolf, Megan Murnane (now a WSU, College of Communication, Broadcast Journalism Major) collaborated with another student while in Cuba for a Backpack Journalism Course.   Their article was published in the Global Post recently (front page) and was also picked up in the L.A. Daily News. The following link http://www.globalpost.com/article/6565296/2015/05/29/cuba-us-interests-section-internet highlights this work.  Megan and her fellow student shot all the footage themselves.  Megan said they pretended to be "tourists" so they could film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLePZNAWmaY in areas where filming is discouraged, even renting a convertible with a driver to get footage of Havana.  All aspects of this collaborative project, both the film piece and the article were completed by Megan and her fellow student.  A big shout out to Megan’s Sedgwick Jr. High and South Kitsap High School Video Production Teachers (Mr. Schmuck/Mr. Downum), to let them know that their teaching and mentoring have made a huge impact and Megan is making the most of her experiences.  Well done !! 

    I want to remind you that we will be having the groundbreaking for our new stadium field and track this coming week.  The groundbreaking event will take place on Monday, June 15, at 10:30 am at the high school field.  Our donors, Mrs. Helen Langer Smith from Kitsap Bank, and Mrs. Debbie Macomber and her family will be attending the event. Please plan to attend if you are able and celebrate this amazing partnership project with us.  Light refreshments will be served.   Further, if you are looking for that perfect ‘green gift’ for a special holiday, we are planning to sell pieces of the old grass football field at the high school with the proceeds supporting athletic and activity programs for our student athletes.  These pieces will be cut following the groundbreaking ceremony and likely will be gone by the end of the week.  Sorry, once it’s gone, its gone ;>)

    I want to share that our school district has been invited to join Harvard University in an important research study in the Fall of 2015. The Mathematics Teachers and Teaching Survey is a national study focused on understanding the current state of mathematics instruction.  The study is funded by the National Science Foundation and is being conducted jointly by researchers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.  This is an exciting opportunity for our staff and students as we will not only be able to participate in this national level cutting edge work; but, we will also have access to the early research data from around the country as part of this study.  What a great time to be in education !!  South Kitsap is on the move…

    As this is the last week of the current school year, I want to share how important it is to take a serious break this summer.  “According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986. As the world’s 21,274 television stations produce some 85,000 hours of original programming every day (by 2003 figures), we watch an average of five hours of television per day. For every hour of YouTube video you watch, there are 5,999 hours of new video just posted!”  The world is changing so rapidly it can be dizzying at times.  http://nyti.ms/1pI8Y1q  Vacation isn’t a luxury, nor is daydreaming ;>)

    I will be continuing my Thursday Memo during the summer and will also be posting the Memo to my Blog linked to our district web-site on the left front page.  If you have a preferred e-mail address that you would like to receive the Thursday Memo at over the summer, please provide it to Amy Miller miller@skitsap.wednet.edu  and I will oblige.  It is my intent to keep you up to date on any decisions and plans as they become clear over the summer.  Conversely, please feel free to stop by and visit with me or send me any ideas or thoughts you might have over the summer as I will be here most of the summer and would love to visit with you. 

    Finally, on behalf of our Board of Directors and almost 10,000 students and their families, please accept our heartfelt thanks for a job well done this year.   I continue to learn a great deal from you and consider it my real privilege to continue to serve you in the coming year.  I want to thank all of you who are retiring for the many years of service you have provided on behalf of our students in this great district and encourage the rest of us to take a few minutes tomorrow to personally thank those around us who will not be with us in the coming year.  We are a better district for your dedication and efforts.  Enjoy the summer break and find that balance that sustains and refreshes us. 

    Warmest regards, 

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/4/2015

    Wow, what an amazing week!!  We have had so many reasons to celebrate and share fellowship with one another.  This past week, we held the Staff Recognition Event prior to the regularly scheduled Board meeting.  This event Staff Recognition Event photo gallery link honors our retirees, twenty-five year employees and the NIB winners for the last part of the school year.  We have so many community and staff members doing amazing things that result in this NIB recognition, 2014-2015 NIB photo gallery link .  Further, Andrea Dilley and the choir from Marcus Whitman recently performed the National Anthem at a Mariners Game. View the video here .  Wow, what a great performance!!  And if that is not enough, Artwork from Nancy Immel’s 4th grade class from Manchester will be featured on the blade of a Kitsap County snowplow. Read more  It is hard to even imagine snow with weather like we are currently having ;<)  Please also note our Celebration of Partnerships photo gallery link .  Well done.

    During the course of the evening, we also honored our two recent State Championship teams, the Boys’ Baseball Team and the Boys’ Track and Field Team.  Our Athletic Director, Mr. Ed Santos, notes that we have had thirteen State Championship titles in the history of South Kitsap High School, and to earn two such championships on the same week-end is something very special.  We are so proud of our young student athletes, their coaches, families and fans.  Go Wolves !!     

    Earlier this week, we received news from the Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) Program that the following students from our district are among the talented juniors from across the state whose academic performance on the WAS Phase One curriculum qualified them for Phase Two – the WAS Summer Residency.  These students are Matthew Collins and Caitlyn Wilhelm.  Teacher Bev Painter, from South Kitsap High School, is ecstatic as this is really a great opportunity and outstanding achievement to be a part of this project.  Phase Two is a six-day experience held at Seattle’s Museum of Flight during three sessions throughout June and July. In each summer session, four student teams cooperate to plan a human mission to Mars with support from professional engineers/scientists, university students, and certificated educators. Additionally, participants receive briefings from aerospace professionals, tour engineering facilities, and compete in hands-on engineering challenges.  These students have committed to leading the way to Mars.  I know this is very exciting though I must admit I am not sure I am planning to head out to Mars anytime soon ;>)

    We continue to be so lucky to have READY! for Kindergarten programming and are impressed with the attendance data for 2014-15. We had three wonderful seasons of classes, supporting parents in the raising of curious and competent children.   We look forward to the following dates for 2015-16: October 3, 6, 8, 10 ~~ Jan 30, Feb 2, 4, 6 ~~ April 30, May 3, 5, 7.  Thank you so much to Marcia Coyne and the many volunteers who put in countless hours of work on this important community partnership.

    I am completing my strategic planning visits at each school and am really grateful for the candid conversations we have had at the schools.  Our 2020 Plan is important as it will guide our work and allocation of resources over the next several years.  I also have been thrilled to be a part of the graduation season as it is again upon us.  Explorer had its graduation this past Monday evening under the direction of Principal Pat Oster.  The staff all attended the special commencement exercises and the students, families and friends were so excited.  This is such an important milestone to mark with our students, staff, families and community.  Discovery and South Kitsap High School will be graduating their seniors in the coming week on Monday and Tuesday respectively.  What precious culminating events, and what an honor it is to participate in them. 

    There is quite a bit of administrative news in the district this week.  We have made a number of decisions and following grueling interview schedules, senior district leadership team members have been appointed.  Please note the following…

    It is my real pleasure to announce that our new Assistant Superintendent for Student Success is Mr. Jay Villars.  Jay Villars, villars@skitsap.wednet.edu  has been with the South Kitsap School District since 2000, serving as the Principal for John Sedgwick Junior High School.  He has been heavily involved in various District committees, including most recently the Professional Development Systems Committee and the District Boundary Review Committee.  Prior to his work in South Kitsap School District, he served as Assistant Principal in North Kitsap School District, Port Townsend School District and Colton Joint Unified School District.  Jay is working on his Superintendents Certification with Western Washington University; additionally, he earned his Master of Education degree in School Administration from Azusa Pacific University and his Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from California State University, San Bernardino.  He also has his teaching certificate from Azusa Pacific University and a Theater Arts degree from California State University, San Bernardino.  Jay has been recognized as an Outstanding Principal for the Peninsula Region with the Association of Washington School Principals.  He has also been an Instructor at Western Washington University for their Principal Certification Program.

    It is my real pleasure to announce that we have hired Mr. Brian Pickard pickard@skitsap.wednet.edu , to the position of Executive Director for Staff and School Support.  Brian Pickard has been with the South Kitsap School District since 1988, serving as the Principal of South Colby Elementary since 1992.  He has served on a wide variety of district-level teams and committees, including most recently co-facilitating the Science Task Force.  Brian also participates at the State and national levels serving as a board member for the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the Association of Washington School Principals.  Brian received both his MA and BA from Central Washington University – go Wildcats!  He has been recognized as the Peninsula Region Distinguished Principal and voted King TV’s Best Principal in Western Washington!  Brian volunteers with the SKHS basketball program and is a board member of SK Helpline.  Brian joins Ms. Anita Chandler, who has been previously announced as our new Executive Director for Teaching and Learning. 

    As to school leadership changes, I am pleased to announce our new Orchard Heights Principal team as well.  The new Orchard Heights Principal is Mr. Mark Gudger and his Assistant Principal is Ms. Barbara Pixton. 

    Mark Gudger, gudgerm@skitsap.wednet.edu  has been the interim Assistant Principal at Orchard Heights since March 2015.  He has been part of South Kitsap School District since September 2003.  His career with our district began as an Elementary School Teacher at Mullenix Ridge Elementary; Mark then transitioned to administrative roles, including serving as an interim Principal at Olalla Elementary, an interim Dean/Instructional Specialist and interim Assistant Principal at Cedar Heights Junior High School.  Prior to his work in the South Kitsap School District he taught in the Seattle and Yakima areas.  Mark earned his Educational Administration degree from Western Washington University; additionally, he earned his Master’s degree in Educational Technology from City University and his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from Central Washington University.  Mark also holds a Library Media Endorsement from Antioch University.  Mark has been a part of the Washington Library Media Association as the Peninsula Regional Chair.  He also is a member of the Association of Washington School Principals, the Northwest Council for Computer Educators and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    Barbara Pixton, bapixton@nkschools.org has most recently served in the role of Dean of Students with the North Kitsap School District.  She also has been an Instructional Support Specialist and teacher with North Kitsap School District.  Additionally, Barbara has been a testing coordinator and teacher trainer for the Smarter Balanced Field Test.  Barbara has experience with being an advocate for the unique needs of military families, having served as a Navy Chief Petty Officer.  Barbara earned her Principal credentials from Pacific Lutheran University as well as her Master’s degree in Leadership/Administration and her Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in Special Education.  Barbara is involved as a Kitsap County Teen Mentor Coordinator and a member of the Instructional Leadership Council.

    We are so blessed to celebrate these talented people in their new roles.  Leadership is both a privilege and responsibility.  I am confident that these leaders will enrich and strengthen the fabric of our leadership tapestry.  Please also note the recent Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight Mark Sutton from Manchester Elementary . We are on the move…

    In next week’s Thursday Memo, I will elaborate on my recommendation for Grade Reconfiguration.  I am still working on the details and research necessary to make a comprehensive thoughtful recommendation as this decision affects all of us and is not being undertaken lightly.  I appreciate all of you who continue to offer ideas, thoughts and suggestions.  It matters.  I will also explicitly lay out the financial resolutions recently approved by the Board to support much needed capital projects in our district. 

    Finally, I trust each of you will enjoy a wonderful weekend.  The weather is again planned to be amazing.  It is so important to seize the day and revel in our gifts. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 5/28/2015

    What a gorgeous week we have been having.  We are so blessed to have the weather we have here, particularly in light of the extreme weather conditions in many other parts of this country.  I trust you are all enjoying it to the fullest.  Our spring athletes are certainly making the most of their outdoor time.  We have various athletes competing in the State Tournaments this week-end and I hope to get out to watch several of the contests and events.  All the best to all those competing and those leading them.

    What an exciting evening for our district tonight.  South Kitsap High School celebrated Laurels Night with outstanding seniors, parents and family members, staff and community donors and friends.  We can be so secure in our future and proud of the accomplishments of our graduating seniors.  Every staff member in this district, in every department of this district, and serving every function in this district, can take credit in a job well done as we graduate the seniors this year from all three high school programs.  This quote “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” by Anatole France graced the program cover of tonight’s celebration and is a fitting reminder of the promise our young people both have and hold.  Like you, I look forward to their next steps…

    I’m pleased to announce that ArtsEd Washington has selected Sunnyslope Elementary as one of only two statewide winners of this year’s Schools of Excellence in Arts Education Award! Their panel was blown away by the work Sunnyslope has done, and we are so excited to have a school in our district receive this honor.  South Kitsap School District Arts Director, Bob Cooper, also touts Sunnyslope’s work, noting “the dedication of the staff, school leadership, and community to ensure ALL students receive a standards-based arts education that aligns with 21st Century skills desperately sought after by the business community.”  Well done !!

    I am pleased to announce that the Office of Special Education (OSE) is moving to the district office this summer.  This is an exciting move and will result in having all instructional programs in one building.  The more inclusive approach to student instructional programming and the ability to better collaborate on program development and implementation will benefit all children – no exceptions.  Having all the Directors of these important programs in one place; e.g., Special Education, Title, LAP, CTE, Basic Education, etc. will only enhance the integration of these monies and program goals.  All resources from all programs will be directed toward our single-minded focus of providing the best educational experience for each and every child in this great district.  I want to thank all those charged with packing and sorting and moving materials for their work in making this possible.  This includes our intrepid facilities and technology departments as they are tirelessly supporting all programs as well as those departments who are moving.  When the dust settles, we will provide a district office map and resultant responsibilities chart so that it is clear what each department and person is responsible for as we continue to provide excellent support service to our district staff, students, families and the community. 

    I want to clarify our school calendar for the remainder of this school year.  As a result of the missed student school day on May 20, we have amended the school calendar to extend our school year.  As a result, the last day of school for this school year will be Monday, June 15, 2015.  It will be a normal last day of school in that it is a shortened day as the previously scheduled June 12 day had been.  It then follows that Friday, June 12, 2015, will be a full day of school.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this adjustment. 

    I want to share my enthusiasm for the progress we are making in increasing the number of AP courses taken by our students this year.  I also want to give a shout out to those junior high teachers who have undertaken the instruction of two new AP courses this year for our ninth grade students.  As you remember, we added AP Human Geography and AP Environmental Science to our ninth grade course offerings.  Teachers Stephanie Winslow, Arnie Otterbeck, Carrie Zamberlin, Matt Davis, Teresa Messing, Larry Nelson, and Scott Appleby have combined to teach 251 ninth grade students in these AP courses this year.  The enrollment for next year in these same two ninth grade AP courses is currently set at 323 students and rising.  I really appreciate the dedicated work these teachers and support staff have put in to create these learning experiences for students.  We are all eagerly awaiting their scores.  Research is clear that even if students only receive a 2 on their AP score, they are twice as likely to be successful in that content area at the next level; e.g., apprenticeship programs, college, trade school, military instructional schools, etc.  Overall, since last year we have increased the number of students district-wide taking AP classes from 377 students to 1055 students.  This is a great example of nurturing growth and inspiring achievement.  Well done !!

    Finally, I will be making my recommendation to the Board next week regarding our plans to reconfigure grade levels (move to K-5, 6-8, 9-12) in our district.  As you know, the recent Boundary Review Committee has made a bold recommendation to move in this direction by no later than 2017-2018.  After careful consideration, and a review of all available data both instructionally and financially, my recommendation for moving forward with a grade level realignment recommendation will likely be one that is phased in over the next several years and will be aligned with our other district level initiatives and strategic plan.   If you have any last bit of feedback for me to consider prior to Tuesday evening, please feel free to forward your ideas, questions and concerns to me.  I will plan to share my recommendation and rationale for this grade reconfiguration project in my Thursday Memo next week. 

    Have a great week-end and Go Wolves as we participate in a variety of championship activities !!

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 5/22/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    We are pleased with the response to our inaugural Thoughtexchange process. This innovative tool allowed stakeholders to share thoughts when and where it’s most convenient. Our goal was to engage our stakeholders in drafting our strategic plan, goals, and priorities. It is clear from the more than 3,300 participants that our community wants to engage with us.  Please take a moment to browse through the web-site http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/. You will see that stakeholders value our quality teachers and staff and how we support and engage all learners. We are also discovering areas we can improve. We will use all we learn to inform our strategic plan for 2020.

    At the Board meeting this week, Olalla and Burley-Glenwood were each honored for being a School of Achievement.  Greg Lynch, the ESD 114 Superintendent presented each school staff with the plaque and banner for each school.   In reviewing the May enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong and getting stronger.  As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend.  This is making a real difference in our fund balance.   A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 15 (EL 15) this past week.  Derry Lyons, our SKSD IT Director, presented the updated District Tech Plan.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same.   I am proud of our District IT Team.

    On April 25, the Port Orchard Masonic Lodge honored eighteen educators from South Kitsap School District with Masonic Educator Awards. The honorees were: Robin Ragsdale from Burley Glenwood, Cathy Fay from EPO, Felitia Conley from Hidden Creek, Deanna Buzzell from Manchester, Cappi Burki and Counrtney Kallstrom from Mullenix, Karen Anderson from Olalla, Sarah Simmons and Kimberly Kilpatrick from Orchard Heights, Peter Darraugh from Sidney Glen, Beth Miller from South Colby, Barb McGinley from Sunnyslope, Quinn Avery from Cedar Heights, Cherryl Christman from Sedgwick, Christie Christman from Marcus, Jana Viergutz and Mandy Wood from South Kitsap High, and Jerry Polly from Discovery.  We are blessed to have such outstanding educators serving the children of this great district.  Well done!! 

    What an exciting evening we had on Tuesday.  Due to the generosity of two local community donors, our community will soon have an innovative athletic complex that we can all be proud of. This project would not have been possible without the generosity of Kitsap Bank, represented by Mrs. Helen Langer Smith, Mr. Steve Politakis, and Mr. Tony George; and the Macomber Family represented by Ms. Adele LaCombe, Mr. Ted Macomber and his daughter, and Ms. Jody Banks.  Mr. Tom O’Brien has done an outstanding job researching field turf products and during his presentation outlined the organic product viability.  This will be the first field of its kind in the Northwest.  Mrs. Smith, a 1946 graduate of South Kitsap High School, was endearing in her remembrance of being a cheerleader on that ‘muddy field’ back in the 1940s. It is long past time to have a safe field that we can use twelve months of the year. We are so blessed to have these community project partners.  Thank you

    It is my great pleasure to announce two new administrative appointments for our South Kitsap School District family.  Please join me in congratulating Ms. Anita Chandler, who will be our new Executive Director for Teaching and Learning, and Mr. Robin Christman who will be our new Special Education Department Assistant Director. 

    Anita Chandler has been with the South Kitsap School District for the last ten years, serving as the Principal of Mullenix Ridge Elementary School. Not only has she been a great leader at her building, she’s facilitated several district wide committees and initiatives.  Anita has also been recognized as a distinguished principal for the Peninsula region.  Anita obtained her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York and her Masters of Education from the University of Washington.  Prior to working at Mullenix Ridge, she was both a general education and special education teacher at the elementary and secondary levels.

    Robin Christman has been a Special Education teacher in the South Kitsap School District since 2006.  His work has been primarily with the Community Transition Program, which has experienced tremendous success. Robin started his teaching career as a woodshop and math teacher, and has been in education since 1980.  Prior to his work in the South Kitsap School District, he was the Program Supervisor for Special Education Operations with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Both Robin’s Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master’s Degree in Education Administration are from Central Washington University.  In addition to his work in public education, he’s also taught at the collegiate level and served on various district committees. 

    I am thrilled to welcome two such amazing and innovative leaders to the district administrative team in their new roles.  Please take a moment and welcome them.  Our future is in good hands.  I also want to thank the two interview teams who put in a great deal of effort in moving these selections forward.  Thank you.

    The District English Language Arts (ELA) Task Force was convened this year with teacher representatives from each school site and administrative representatives from each level. The ELA Task Force was charged to review current curriculum and recommend modifications and adoptions based on alignment with Common Core State Standards and literacy best practices. Following a review of many materials, the ELA committee recommended the piloting of three curricula during the 2014-2015 school year. After piloting materials, classroom observations, and a thorough evaluation of each program, the ELA committee unanimously recommended the adoption of Journeys (K-5).    At the sixth grade level and the secondary level, the taskforce recommended that we continue with the current ELA adoption of Springboard (6-10) and Holt (11-12), as the new version of each program has been aligned to the CCSS.    The Task Force developed a professional development plan and presented the draft to the district Professional Development Taskforce for review.  This is a big step forward for our students and staff.  I appreciate all the hard work many of you put in as this decision was made. 

    Finally, I wish each of you the best Memorial Day week-end ever.  I would also ask each of you to pause during the BBQ, and other fun activities we will be having this weekend … to think about and thank those who have served our country so valiantly and remember the many sacrifices made on our behalf. It is so true that we are free because of the brave.  Thank you. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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